A brand new and exciting online creative writing club for children aged 8-11 years, Inkpots Inc, is launching on 1st May! And here to tell us all about it on the blog today is Inkpots founder Gill Pawley. Gill and I met last year and share a mutual love of all things creative! Welcome Gill, thank you for joining us.
Tell us about the work you do at Inkpots. Inkpots is for children who love writing, drawing and reading and we run after school clubs and holiday workshops to help them develop their skills. Our groups are also really fun, happy places so that children have a great time too. We’re also able to offer support for those children who don’t always find it easy to express themselves on paper.
What was the inspiration behind Inkpots Inc? I ran out of days to run after school clubs! I run them five days a week – but I know that there are lots of children who would still love to come to Inkpots but can’t get to a club locally. I have actually discovered that there are children around the UK and in other countries who are interested, so it seemed the logical step to start an online club which can be accessed wherever you are.
You’ve invited parents and children to be involved right from the start –how important has this been in the development of the idea? It’s essential. I can come up with lots of plan and idea – and I do! – but if they are not what children want and will respond to, it’s just a complete waste of time. Inkpots Inc just wouldn’t be happening without the fabulous feedback I have had from parents and children – from existing families, as well as new ones too.
It must be a huge amount of work setting up on online club; what has the process involved? It has been a lot of work but I have had a great team of people working with me. The first step was to do lots of research, we then built the membership site within our existing website – some wonderful website wizards actually did that bit. Then the fun stuff, like developing all the materials, recording videos and working out monthly activities. One of the best bits has been producing the monthly newsletter for Inkpots Inc children – many of our older Inkpots have been very involved in the writing of that, so it’s been like having our very own editorial team.
In addition to this, you run after school clubs and holiday sessions. How will the two work together? They are already working together. The ideas from Inkpots are feeding into Inkpots Inc and vice versa. Things that I have planned for the online club can also be done at after school clubs too so it’s like a big creative hub to dive in to. There are also some Inkpots children who are going to join the club so that they can do things with friends and relatives who live some distance from Sussex.
What would your three top tips be for anyone starting out or expanding a new business venture? Look after your health is my main tip – make sure you get plenty of exercise and fresh air (I have had to be really strict with myself in the run up to the launch. Also make sure you have me or two business buddies who really get what you do, and finally, believe in yourself – you can do more than you think!
Thank you Gill for sharing all about Inkpots Inc and we wish you every success with the launch!
Find out more at www.inkpots.org.